Inglehurst Infants School says it takes full responsibility for what happened (Image: Google Street View)
A mum has told of her horror after her five-year-old son went missing from school without his teachers realising.
Anca Iacovuta and her partner Constantin panicked when they went to pick up their son from Inglehurst Infant School in Leicester only to find him gone and staff none the wiser.
The couple were left waiting outside the school office before a staff member told them the school believed their child was lost either inside or outside the school.
Leaving without any members of staff noticing, the boy walked to his home more than 10 minutes away.
Anca said: “I feel nobody cares what is happening. My son was put in danger, but I feel the finger is being pointed at my son. He’s never done that before.”
The school in Newfoundpool, part of the Attenborough Learning Trust, said it “takes full responsibility for what happened” after the child went missing on September 29.
It has changed its pick up procedure and is investigating what it calls a “serious safeguarding incident” to determine exactly what happened.
Anca, 35, told the Leicester Mercury she felt her serious concerns have not been handled well by the school.
She told the publication: “I went to pick my son up as normal and the door of the classroom was closed so I went to the office.
“As a parent, you notice straight away if something is not okay. A teacher came out and said, ‘Please be calm but we think we’ve lost your son in the school or outside the school’.”
Reliving the ordeal, the mum said she went outside with her partner straightaway and started searching for the boy.
She added: “I was looking for a photo of him on my phone to show to other parents. I just started screaming and called the police.”
The boy walked from Inglehurst Infants School all the way home (Image: Google Street View)
More than half an hour after leaving the school, at about 3.25pm, the youngster managed to find his way home. He was spotted by a neighbour who took him to a different school near his home.
Teachers from that school took him back to the house and rang the doorbell camera, thus alerting Anca and Constantin.
Anca said: “How is it possible a five-year-old child could sneak out of the school without anyone seeing? Anything could have happened. I can’t get that out of my head. He could have been kidnapped or hit by a car or anything.”
She made a formal complaint on the same day, but said she did not receive a written response until October 10 when she was sent an acknowledgement by email. The school maintains it met with the parents on October 2.
The five-year-old has since been “too scared” to return to school and his parents are trying to arrange alternative education.
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A spokesperson for Inglehurst Infant School said the pupil left the school premises unaccompanied and arrived at home safely by 3.25pm.
They continued: “The pupil’s class teacher noticed the pupil had not returned to the classroom after collecting their lunchbox from the trolley outside the classroom, ready to go home. This was around 2.50pm. The class teacher sent a teaching assistant to look for them in the toilets and other rooms that the pupil was familiar with.
“When the pupil’s mother arrived at around 3.08pm, she was informed multiple staff members were looking for the pupil, both within the school and grounds and in the surrounding area. The police were called at 3.14pm, when staff had not found the pupil.
“The pupil’s mother then called the police as well, at 3.19pm, on her mobile phone, from the playground. She was invited in to the office and continued her conversation with the police on the school office phone, at the request of the police.
“After ascertaining the pupil was safe at home, the police talked to members of staff at the school and to the pupil’s mother.”
The spokesperson said the matter is being treated as a serious safeguarding incident, which has been reported to the local authority. An internal investigation is ongoing to determine what happened.
Inglehurst Infant School has since changed how the end of the school day is staffed and monitored.
The spokesperson added: “We understand that this incident was extremely distressing for the parents and have given reassurances to the parents. Safeguarding our children is paramount and all safeguarding issues are taken very seriously.”